You can download all file types available for your plan, including any customer deliverables, directly from your Skycatch account. The coordinate system your data products are in are displayed at the top of the download drop down for easy reference. There's also a button to an external box.com folder for easy sharing and access to all your files!
Downloading a TIF, LAS, OBJ, or DSM File
1. Log into your Skycatch account and select the site and date that you'd like to download your data products for.
2. Click on the Download button in the upper right hand corner of your screen on the 2D map view for the site. You'll see a drop down with the different file types that are available for download. The coordinate system that your output data was processed in is located at the top of the drop down menu.
3. Click on the data product you're interested in and it will immediately begin downloading to your computer.
You can also click on the "View All Files on Box" button to go to the box.com folder to download your data products there as well.
Downloading a Contour Map (DXF)
Contour maps, also known as topographic maps, are useful for displaying the elevation details of an area. These contour maps are created using the point cloud of your processed map.
1. Click on the Download button located in the upper, right hand corner of the screen, and select Contour Lines (.dxf)
2. A pop-up titled, Export Contour Lines, will appear on your screen with three options:
- Units - the units of measurement used on your contour map
- Major to Minor Ratio - defines the ratio that the color of the major and minor lines are displayed in
- Interval - sets the the difference in elevation between contour lines
3. Once you've customized your export, click the Export Contour button and a pop up at the top of your screen will appear to let you know that your contour export is processing.
4. Once your contour export has finished processing, the pop up at the top of your screen will update with a Download Contours button to download the DXF directly to your computer.
Downloading a PDF of your map
1. Log into your Skycatch account and select the map and date that you'd like to download a PDF for.
2. Click the Download button in the upper right hand corner of your screen. You'll see a drop down with the different file types that are available for download, select .PDF.
3. You'll see a pop up window where you can adjust the view, update the PDF name, and choose the resolution of the images that will be downloaded in your PDF. Use your mouse or trackpad to pan or zoom to adjust the map view to your desired PDF view.
4. Click Export once you have selected the desired settings and your PDF will begin preparations for export. You should see a blue notification bar at the top your screen. Please keep your browser window open during this time.
5. You will see a new notification status when your PDF is ready for export with a button that says Download PDF. Click on the button to download your PDF directly to your computer.
More details on TIF, LAS, OBJ, and DSM files
The high resolution orthotiff file that is generated with every map processing job is a georeferenced 2D aerial map with a resolution of approximately 2 inches per pixel. You can take the TIF file and add mark ups or annotations on top either directly in your Skycatch account or in another program. You can also import your TIF files into software such as ArcGIS for further viewing and manipulation. It can also be opened with any application or software that supports TIF formats, such as Bluebeam, Google Earth, Sketchup, Autodesk tools, and more. We have noticed that TIF files larger than 500mb can not be opened with a native photo previewer. In cases like these, we would recommend using Photoshop, QGIS, GIMP, or similar program.
3D Point Cloud (LAS):
A point cloud is a large collection of points that represent the 3D surface of the area captured by a drone and contains the most reliable 3D data possible. WGS84 is the default coordinate system in which Skycatch typically delivers point cloud data. The vertical datum our UTM data is delivered in is WGS84 height above ellipsoid. You can view the 3D point cloud directly in your viewer by following the instructions in our guide here.
This file type is extremely valuable and contains data that allows you to align 3D models, generate contours, conduct volume measurements, and more. Often, users use the LAS file to track their sites and validate that their existing build is in line with the original design. Skycatch generates these secondary file types (contours and DSMs) as well as volume measurements for Skycatch Pro Plan users. Many clients import their point cloud data into their existing workflow tools such as AutoCAD Civil 3D. You can also view them using an assortment of other apps and software that support LAS formats, such as Cloud Compare.
3D Mesh file (OBJ):
A 3D mesh file is a large collection of textured triangles that represent the 3D surface of the area captured by a drone which gives you a photorealistic version of the point cloud. You can view the 3D mesh model directly in your viewer, more details are available here, or in any software that supports the OBJ file format. You can use your 3D mesh file to visualize your site and view progress in a 3-dimensional view. Often, our users use 3D mesh files mainly for viewing purposes and do not import these files into any further platforms. Other programs that can open up OBJ files are Autodesk, Sketchfab, Cloud Compare and Meshlabs.
Digital Surface Model (TIF):
A digital surface model, also known as a DSM, is an elevation model that includes surface objects such as buildings, cars, and trees. Programs that can open up DSM files include GlobalMapper and QGIS. Larger sized DSMs (>4 GB) may not be opened in most BIM software due to the format for larger sized TIFF files.